Walmart Listens to Workers, Finds Easy Ways to Boost Employee Satisfaction

Wal-Mart Listens to Workers, Finds Easy Ways to Boost Employee SatisfactionWalmart made news last week when it announced changes designed to boost employee satisfaction, including a more relaxed dress code where employees will be allowed to wear denim to work. Another change involves the music you hear playing in Walmart stores. Instead of having to listen to a limited number of songs on a loop — which can grow annoying fast — the company is investing in an in-house radio station staffed by DJs who will keep the music fresh.

Walmart came up with these easy ways to boost employee satisfaction by listening to employees and taking their complaints seriously. These simple steps may not solve all the retail giant’s employee engagement problems, but they’re a good start.

This week, I’ve been reading about Walmart’s changes and other ways to boost employee satisfaction. I hope you’ll find these articles useful.

Denim is OK. Why Wal-Mart Wants to Boost Employee Satisfaction. The Christian Science Monitor: “The new improvements are due in large part to increased communication between the company’s leadership and its in-store employees, said Walmart spokesman Kory Lundberg. This communication comes in the form of weekly store visits, during which company leaders speak candidly with workers about their experiences. The corporation has also begun conducting ‘listening sessions,’ led by COO Judith McKenna, in which employees give feedback on areas in which they believe the store could improve. ‘If we have folks that are happier to come to work, they’re going to take better care of customers,’ Lundberg explained.”

A Strategy For Measuring Employee Happiness (And Acting On The Result). Forbes: “Our team also meets once a month for a longer period of time, where we discuss opportunities for growth and go over the statistics of the more extensive survey, comparing it to the previous month’s results. We discuss ways to improve results for the upcoming months. We have found that this open discussion structure builds trust. Your ‘boss’ isn’t analyzing your results and giving you feedback; this isn’t a pass/fail exam. This is an exercise with the pure intention of, as a team, being more aware of our happiness and taking actions to increase it. It’s also a great example of our second core value: always find a better way.”

7 Ways to Increase Productivity for Your Employees. Inc.: “The straightforward run of 9 to 5 has been a touchstone for generations, but it’s not the most effective schedule for many workers. Some get started early in the morning, thinking their clearest at 7 or 8, while others don’t usually get going until midday, closer to around noon. Instituting flexible hours would allow each individual worker to discover the working range that works best for him/her, simultaneously increasing productivity and satisfaction. There may be a few more gaps in lines of communication for your workers, but they’ll all be working in the way that suits them best.”

Do You Know What Makes Your Employees Feel Satisfied? eLearning Industry: “Ensuring that workers have regular breaks to allow themselves to re-focus. In unionized workplaces, this is often a negotiated item, but in other settings (especially in white-collar environments), often workers take it as a badge of honor to stay at their desks through breaks and lunchtime. This is not conducive to maximum production. Taking a small break every 90 minutes is essential to the creativity and health of all workers…Regardless of the importance of the job and the skills of the worker, people should not stay more than 40 hours in their formal workplace setting. Creativity and innovation fades as the hours after that accumulate.”

What Makes a Happy Workplace? Workplace Focus: “The study found that happier employees use their time more effectively, generating about 12% more work in lab trials than less happy colleagues. Professor Oswald elaborated: ‘Companies like Google have invested more in employee support and employee satisfaction has risen as a result. For Google, it rose by 37%. Under scientifically controlled conditions, making workers happier really pays off.’ But what makes for a happy workplace? There’s no single answer, according to Dr Proto. ‘There are different ways [to achieve happiness],’ he said, ‘from providing nicer office spaces or entertainment, to securing a good pension scheme, higher wages and other benefits, and guaranteeing a good level of sociability.’”

Talmetrix is an employee feedback and insights solution that helps organizations better attract and retain talent to achieve business goals. Our solution makes it easy for organizations to capture employee feedback (feelings) and organizational data (facts) to discover actionable insights. With a unique combination of software, content, data, and advisory support we can help you measure and improve your employee experience. Contact us today to learn how your company can start achieving better business results.

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